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Positive India-China border talks helped to prevent another ‘Doklam’: Chinese mouthpiece

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Beijing

Positive discussions over the ongoing border issues at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during the commander-level talks between the Indian and Chinese military over this weekend prevented another Doklam like crisis according to The Global Times, a daily tabloid of the Chinese Communist Party.

Citing suggestions by Chinese experts on the Indo-China border issue, the mouthpiece said on Monday that due to the complexity of the situation, the military standoff could continue for a little longer.

A meeting was held between the Indian Corps Commander based in Leh and the Chinese Commander on Saturday in a cordial and positive atmosphere, according to a statement released on Sunday by the Ministry of External Affairs of India.

Both sides agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements and keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquillity in the India-China border regions is essential for the overall development of bilateral relations, the MEA said.

In recent weeks, India and China have maintained communication through established diplomatic and military channels to address the situation in areas along the India-China border, it said.

As the commanders level talks did not result in any immediate change in ground positions, India and China have decided to continue to hold discussions at both military and diplomatic level to address the present dispute on LAC in the Eastern Ladakh sector.

During the talks, the Indian side stressed on the Chinese to end their military buildup on the line of actual control and going back to the situation before the Chinese side started deploying its military closer to the Indian territory.

Qian Feng, a senior fellow at the Taihe Institute and director of the research department of the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University in Beijing, told the Global Times that the recent talks involved high-ranking officers from both militaries, indicating that both sides are paying great attention to the situation and do not want to escalate it.

It showed that China and India remain determined to peacefully resolve border issues, Qian said, noting that both sides have the strategic wisdom to see through the US’ ulterior motive in intervening and encouraging India to confront China at a time when China-US relations are deteriorating.

Media reports suggest both sides have been reinforcing their troops in the border areas, leading to another standoff that some said will become a second Doklam crisis.

This will not be the case, as both sides have gained a great deal of experience from the Doklam incident in 2017, and since then all kinds of bilateral mechanisms including on military, diplomatic and local issues have been established, which has eliminated the possibility of an incident escalating into a crisis, experts noted.

That being said, the ongoing standoff is not likely to end immediately, as concrete issues must still be resolved, Qian said. The trigger of the event, India’s construction of infrastructure on Chinese territory, must be stopped, or China will not accept the situation, he added further.

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